Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The previous RFCs held at this location may be found at WP:BLPRFC1 and WP:BLPRFC2.

At the end of the Request for Comment Phase II, it was decided that there would be a three-month review of the measures adopted since then. It has been roughly three months, so i'm beginning this review. The process that has come out of this series of RFCs is WP:BLPPROD. Is it working? Could it be improved? Do we need to retire it? Do we need to adopt something stricter? Please leave statements summarising your views of what has transpired since then, and then we'll move on to what we can do to make things better if necessary. The WordsmithCommunicate 01:35, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Views[edit]

View by LiberalFascist[edit]

My perception is that the new BLPPROD process is:

  1. largely preventing new unreferenced BLPs from growing in number.
  2. providing an easy focal point for users who want to spend time referencing newly created articles
  3. teaching new users about the BLP policy - one of our most important policies in a poignant, but non-BITEy way.

The general unreferenced BLP quantity is being steadily reduced (see here, so I believe that the BLPPROD doesn't need to be altered substantially from the current version. We seem to be on-track for the goals set forth by User:J04n (no old unreferenced BLPs by March 1, 2011), so I feel like no changes need to be made to the process at this time.

Users who endorse this summary
  1. As nom.  --Joshua Scott (LiberalFascist) 02:30, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  2. I haven't been closely following this process, but from what I have seen of it, it seems to have been working far better than I expected. Robofish (talk) 14:56, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  3. I've done a good bit of work here, and the accuracy rate of BLPPROD tagging tends to be about 85-90%: high enough for the process to be worthwhile, but too error-prone to be accelerated. Jclemens (talk) 14:31, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  4. Wow, I'm actually quite impressed by the fact that we're down to 28,213 articles! I also think the BLP-Prod is helpful in that it is a quick message to new users that they need to source their articles.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 20:56, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  5. This sounds about right. Alzarian16 (talk) 21:29, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. I think it is working. It's not a magic bullet. There really isn't one though. A cultural change coupled with thousands of man-hours of effort are the only solution here, and it's happening, with the help of things like BLP PROD. Gigs (talk) 14:12, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. Indeed. And kudos to all the great sourcing work going on out there! --je deckertalk 16:30, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. agree, things are going fairly well and I certainly oppose expanding this as proposals below are suggesting. Hobit (talk) 03:15, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. Endorse all points ThemFromSpace 19:06, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  10. This is great! T3h 1337 b0y 22:08, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  11. Working well! FloNight♥♥♥♥ 11:29, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
  12. Stifle (talk) 09:37, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  13. It was a compromise between much harsher action on unsourced BLPs, or the status quo (which wasn't working). BLPprod works and gets good results. Making it more timeconsuming will not help Wikipedia. Fram (talk) 10:29, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  14. Collect (talk) 14:27, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  15. Voceditenore (talk) 11:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  16. Sceptre (talk) 18:08, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

View by J04n[edit]

Although I believe the whole process is working remarkably well, I would be in favor of a small tweak of WP:BLPPROD. Currently the Nominating section reads "If you see a biography about a living person without references, you are strongly encouraged...". I recommend changing to "If you see a biography about a living person without at least one reliable source, you are strongly encouraged...".


Users who endorse this summary:

  1. J04n(talk page) 02:56, 10 June 2010 (UTC) as nom
  2. --Andrensath (talk | contribs) 03:17, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  3. I wanted to get this done originally on BLPPROD.  --Joshua Scott (LiberalFascist) 04:57, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  4. Quantifiable, I would endorse this and the summation above. I've watched the Wikipedia:Mistagged BLP cleanup project shrink in size, as well as the WP:URBLP number drop. So nobody needs to freak out and take outrageous overreactions as had been previously proposed. Keep up the good work.Trackinfo (talk) 06:18, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  5. An excellent suggestion for a tweak. Maybe just be bold and edit it in? ++Lar: t/c 15:22, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. Yes. Though changing it right now sounds like another petty edit war in the making. JamieS93 16:50, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. Very good suggestion --B (talk) 17:53, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. Agree. Maybe even go as far as to point out what is not reliable (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn). — Timneu22 · talk 18:03, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. Makes sense. But disagree with Timneu above, unless you make it clear that you are only giving some examples of what aren't reliable sources.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 20:59, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Right, I just meant a couple examples (MySpace/Facebook especially!). Obviously we can't list them all. — Timneu22 · talk 21:03, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  10. Absolutely. The proposed wording sounds more accurate so would be benificial. Alzarian16 (talk) 21:31, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  11. Peter 22:34, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  12. Yeah, we can do this. It's going to cause stress over things like whether IMDB is reliable or not, but ultimately if the only coverage is in IMDB then there's probably a notability issue anyway and we can send it to AfD instead of arguing about BLPPROD. Gigs (talk) 14:09, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
    Since you bring up the IMDB issue, I would suggest that if IMDB is the only source, deletion is NOT the answer. Inclusion of a source should not cause the article to be deleted. It is a source. If you, as many, choose to discredit IMDB as a source, then show us an equitable complete on-line database of TV or movie workers. If such an effective database exists, then it should corroborate the IMDB information. After such a database is proven to be efficient, then you could use an absence from THAT database as evidence that a person is not notable. Obviously I don't think such a database exists. I suggest there is a faction that is firmly holding to the IMDB being an unreliable source in order TO MAKE thousands of BLPs "unreferenced" and thus (they feel they are) deletable.Trackinfo (talk) 06:50, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
    Sorry, but you are suggesting that we by fiat create a reliable source where one doesnt necessarily exist. Active Banana (talk) 17:56, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  13. Agree in broad brushstrokes, with reservations about whether WP:RS is a bright-line enough test. I am also sympathetic to the concern that this might be "too soon," the BLPPROD debate was at times acrimonious. --je deckertalk 16:36, 15 June 2010 (UTC) (added the bright-line test concern clause --je deckertalk 20:27, 18 June 2010 (UTC))
  14. Agree. The prod already states "Once you have provided at least one reliable source, you may remove this tag" (emphasis added). VernoWhitney (talk) 18:31, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  15. Agree here as well. What good are the sources if they aren't reliable? ThemFromSpace 19:07, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  16. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 11:27, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
  17. The suggested wording could prevent an article from being tagged because, for example, the original author included a reliable source in the form of an external link instead of one of the standard citations. As for IMdB, it seems to be a reliable source, although it won't always establish notability. For this process reliability is the criterion; when in doubt I would bring an article to AfD if the only source were IMdB instead of using this process.--~TPW 12:42, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
  18. Support. And IMDb is not a reliable source at all, I have recently had an article deleted as a hoax despite an IMDb biography. Fram (talk) 10:32, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
    I'd like to highlight that this gets back to my concern about using "reliable sources" in this context (wee below). They aren't cut-and-dried and for this type of rule they really need to be. Is IMDB a RS? How about a jacket cover bio of an author? How about a faculty bio hosted at their school? Does it matter if that faculty bio is at DeVry or at Harvard? Does it matter if they can directly edit it or if only their department can? This is a heck of a can of worms for something where we are placing a requirement without discussion. Hobit (talk) 15:40, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  19. support. Active Banana (talk) 18:07, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  20. Sceptre (talk) 18:09, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  21. Having only unreliable sources is almost as bad as having no sources at all. Mr.Z-man 23:34, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
  22. PhilKnight (talk) 21:15, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
  23. Yes. -- Bfigura (talk) 22:49, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
  24. Sounds like a good idea. Lankiveil (speak to me) 12:43, 4 July 2010 (UTC).
  25. --JN466 04:34, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
  26. Like. Ironholds (talk) 12:13, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  27. NW (Talk) 12:53, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
  28. Crazymonkey1123 (Jacob) (Shout!) 02:15, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

View by WereSpielChequers[edit]

The current system is effective in the sense that a high proportion of new unreferenced BLPs are being prodded and either referenced or deleted. How high a proportion we won't know for some months - if in three of four months time we are not finding uBLPs that were created in May or June then we can be more confident that the process is effectively processing the new uBLPS. It is not yet clear how effective the system has been at reeducating users that new BLPs require a source, or at improving our BLP articles in general.

The process was launched with an ambiguity about wp:Before, "there appears to be a consensus significant minority who feel that the nominator should make a good faith effort to look for sources before nominating. The community will have to determine whether or not this is a valid part of the new process." Judging from the speed with which some new articles have been prodded and the ease with which many sticky prodded articles have been referenced, I strongly suspect that many nominators have not been looking for sources before nominating. As this has become the norm it may now be time to formalise this.

The rationale for the sticky prods was that while we are concerned that all information on Wikipedia should be accurate and neutral, we are more concerned about biographies of living people than we are about other articles, as we are keen to protect living individuals from having unduly negative information about them on Wikipedia. So sticky prods were introduced to make it easier to delete new unsourced BLPs. We already have various processes to remove articles on non-notable subjects, and I'm not aware of anyone arguing that BLPs need extra attention in this regard. So a BLP of a professor sourced from the Bio on their university website should be tagged as {{refimproveBLP}}, but is no worse than any other article that relies on Primary sources. However a Bio sourced from Myspace, Facebook or linked in could be an attack page where the same attacker has created mutually reinforcing attack pages on more than one site.

With any tightening of the deletion policy there is a risk that new and occasional editors can be "bitten". Sticky prods have often been applied to articles within minutes of creation, and sometimes without notification to the authors; Both of which are considered by some to be bitey behaviour. Most editors have been informing the authors and giving them time to save their second edit - so making this a little less bitey should not be too problematic.

The following recommendations are in my view, balanced, practical and taken as a whole would improve the process. I think there will be a temptation for inclusionists to welcome some of them and deletionists others, but I would like people to consider these as a balanced package of reforms that if taken as a whole would from nearly all perspectives be a net improvement on the current process.

  1. Sticky Prods should be exempt from wp:Before in that they may be applied without first searching for sources other than within the article and its previous versions.
  2. New BLPs that are only sourced from self-published or unverified user generated content such as Facebook and Myspace should be subject to sticky prods.
  3. Like {{A1}} and {{A3}} tags, Sticky Prods should not be applied to articles in the first moments of their creation.
  4. As these articles are by definition good faith contributions, the prodder should inform the author unless there is a good reason to make an exception.

Users who endorse this summary:

  1. ϢereSpielChequers 11:47, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  2. J04n(talk page) 12:22, 11 June 2010 (UTC) I think all point are realistic and appropriate. I would suggest tightening up point 3 to 'x minutes' rather than 'moments'. The 'x' can be debated but I think 20 is reasonable. J04n(talk page) 12:22, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  3. I endorse 1, 3, and 4. I favor the explicit exclusion of unreferenced BLPs from BEFORE. Note that it will actually strengthen the expectation expressed in BEFORE as applied to other articles, though, which some editors may not like. I disagree with #2, in that focusing with "unreliable source only" BLPs distracts our focus from the completely unreferenced ones. Jclemens (talk) 14:33, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
  4. I can endorse 1,2, and 4; but cannot endorse 3. Many of the users who are writing BLPs without sources are our newest contributors and often are here for the sole purpose of writing a single BLP and then they fade off into oblivion. If we don't catch them WHILE they are editing, we might not get them involved. While A1/A3 it is necessary to wait as the articles might be deleted while somebody is working on them, this notice doesn't pose that risk but lets the writer know about our standards. The quicker the better.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 21:19, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  5. Endorse 1,2 and 4: I honestly don't think I've decided what I think about #3 yet. --je deckertalk 16:38, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. Endorse 1 and 4 certainly. #3 seems a little unneccesary, and #2 depends on what constitutes a totally unreliable source for this purpose. Alzarian16 (talk) 16:55, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. Endorse 3 and 4, not so sure about the other two. WP:BEFORE isn't a policy anyway, so it doesn't make much sense to talk about being exempt from it - I agree it shouldn't be a requirement, but I think it is a good idea to search for sources first, even for stickyprods. Point 2 seems to stretch the use of these prods a bit far in my view - I'd rather keep them solely for BLPs without any sources whatsoever. Robofish (talk) 22:07, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. Endorse 3 and 4, opposed to 1 and 2 quite strongly. Hobit (talk) 03:16, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
    Actually, I could accept 2 if there were a black list of sites (myspace and facebook for example). As I discuss below in the section I wrote I think any limitation here needs to be a very bright line. Hobit (talk) 08:23, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. Agree with everything except for 3, per Balloonman. VernoWhitney (talk) 18:28, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  10. Endorse 2, 3, and 4. Neutral on 1. It never hurts to check for sources before applying the tag, but it shouldn't be mandatory. I agree with Robofish's view above concerning this. ThemFromSpace 19:11, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  11. Endorse 1, 2 and 4. Point 3 - perhaps we can make the message on the template more friendly or something, but I really don't have a problem tagging within moments of creation. I would guess that tagging it and placing the notice on the new user's talk page could motivate them to learn more about policies and put the references in the article in order to avoid deletion.  --Joshua Scott (LiberalFascist) 03:16, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  12. Endorse 1,2 and 4. I do not agree with point 3 though. A new editor may simply not know the need for references at all (Thus never intending to add them). Tagging them as soon as possible means that we inform the editor at the easiest possible time. It is quite possible that an editor may otherwise be log off in the meantime, and it is equality possible that they may close a browser window that contained a possible reference. I tend to see the notification as a friendly request for something, along the lines of:"Hey, your on the right track, good job. But we need a little bit of extra information". If the editor is experiences enough to know, he or she can simply delete the notification from the their talk page. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 15:53, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
  13. Endorse 1 and 4, neutral on 2, oppose 3. There is no harm in putting a BLP PROD tag on a new article in the first few minutes as it will not result in the article getting deleted straightaway, unlike an A1/A3 (which also don't result in anything getting deleted straightaway due to the CAT:SD backlog, but that's a whole different barrel of apples). Stifle (talk) 09:39, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  14. Support 1,2,and 4. Oppose 3 since we need to flag the article on the first pass and the deletion is not immediate so there is time to fix the problems prior to deletion. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 21:38, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  15. Endorse 1 and 2; oppose 3 per others. I would cautiously endorse 4 as long as the wording remains "should" and not "must" - loopholes are bad. Mr.Z-man 23:37, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
  16. Support 1, 2 and 4. The fact that a BLPprod gives a week to source the article differentiates it from A1 and A3, imo. Resolute 02:10, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  17. Support all; seems sensible Johnbod (talk) 02:16, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

View by Gigs[edit]

While working through the unreferenced BLP backlog, my first goal was to correct tags, and if the subject seemed notable, to search for and find sources. If that failed, then I would nominate the article for deletion. What I found in several cases is that our subject specific notability guidelines (SNGs) are allowing articles to be kept that have no third party biographical sources, and likely never will.

  • WP:PROF allows articles on academics to be kept if the subject has notable work, that is, their work is highly cited and have a high h-index, regardless of whether the person is the subject of any third party biographical coverage. Usually what happens is that a tenured professor with notable work winds up with a Wikipedia article completely sourced from their university bio, which is effectively self published, and other primary sources such as awards listings.
  • WP:ATH allows any sportsman who competed at a fully professional level to have an article, regardless of third party biographical coverage.
  • WP:ANYBIO allows anyone who has gotten a "well-known and significant award or honor, or has been nominated for one several times", regardless of whether the person is the subject of any third party biographical coverage.
  • WP:ARTIST, similar to WP:PROF, has a "widely cited" clause.
  • WP:ENT, allows an article on someone who has had "significant roles in multiple notable films, television shows, stage performances, or other productions", regardless of third party biographical coverage.

Fundamentally, the problem is that each of these guidelines supersedes the WP:GNG, which requires third party coverage that addresses the subject directly. The subject of a biography is the person, not the person's work. The current SNGs for people assume that a person who produced notable work is automatically notable, regardless of source material availability.

WP:N explicitly defers authority to these subject notability guidelines: "A topic can also be considered notable if it meets the criteria outlined in any of the subject-specific guidelines listed on the right.". Some claim that the SNGs merely provide guidance for cases in which the GNG is likely to be met. I reject this assertion, because in practice at AfDs, meeting the SNG has been considered prima facie evidence of notability, regardless of the apparent availability of biographical source material. Related reading: [1]

Additional Note - There seems to be some confusion. This RFC was never meant to be solely about sticky prods. It is a continuation on the discussion regarding our handling in general of sourcing and verifiability in BLPs, and the measures we are taking, or not taking, to deal with such. This view has very little to do with sticky prods. Gigs (talk) 19:53, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Users who endorse this summary:

  1. Unfortunately, it is quite correct that those guidelines allow a lot of articles to get a free pass without their having to meet WP:N (and really WP:V), though why BIO is the only one except from ALSO meeting WP:N, not just one or the other, I've never understood. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:27, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  2. Partially endorse. Abandoning the SNGs altogether would lead to a lot of articles being deleted after years of protected status, so would be unlikely to gain consensus, and in some cases they can be useful. But clearly there is a problem with their current usage. My suggested compromise would be to add a clause into the SNGs that allows deletion of any article which fails WP:V. Alzarian16 (talk) 15:52, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  3. Partially endorse. I believe WP:V is key, and to the extent that WP:PROF, WP:ARTIST etc. are used to bypass verifiability, I fully support modifying them. Where I strongly disagree is in the implication that notability is (or should be) unrelated to a person's "work". ("The subject of a biography is the person, not the person's work.") Take a look at the entry for most scientists, and most artists, and you'll see that most of what's discussed is their "work," often narrow personal biographical information is secondary in importance. Were an artist to produce several notable bodies of paintings, for example, I'd be entirely happy to see an artist-titled "biography" that stuck in terms of personal details to what limited information was WP:RS'd and WP:V, even if the profound emphasis of that article, and the subjects claim to notability, was the work. --je deckertalk 16:28, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  4. Endorse anything that requires WP:V, particularly on BLPs. There is a thread at Wikipedia talk:Notability (sports)#RfC: Promote Notability (sports) to a guideline discussing this very thing. A new discussion about SNGs and WP:V is long overdue. J04n(talk page) 17:37, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  5. Partial endorsement. Whatever a BLP can meet a SNG should be based only on the verified facts with reliable source even primary ones. --KrebMarkt 18:18, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. Not exactly related to the other views in the RFC, but I would definitely endorse this one, per Joe Decker. NW (Talk) 09:39, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
    yep, seems reasonable though I don't quite see how it applies here. If there is a primary source (say employer) it's still a source and not eligible for deletion by a sticky prod in any case. Hobit (talk) 03:19, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. Endorse wholeheartedly and with regret. Although I'm not really sure what this has to do with the BLPprod. ThemFromSpace 19:14, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. Endorse requiring all articles to meet GNG - with the note that not all sources are online or readily available, which is where the SNGs help. Still, all articles must meet WP:V obviously - so any article, especially BLPs, should be deleted if no reliable sources can be found, whether or not those sources theoretically exist.  --Joshua Scott (LiberalFascist) 03:37, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. Endorse. My understanding is that the purpose of WP:BLP was to protect reputations of both encyclopedia subjects and Wikipedia itself. It is not to restrict coverage of people whose genuine achievements ought to be remembered in an encyclopedia on the grounds that they've never been the subject of a human interest story. Scientists, authors, and artists get in on the strength of their works, rather than by having lives interesting enough to write about. - Smerdis of Tlön - killing the human spirit since 2003! 16:28, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
    I would clarify that I think notability and sourcing are entirely two different matters. It is entirely plausible for an article to have reliable sources and still not have the sort of long-term significance needed to sustain an article. WP:BLP1E is really a notability guideline --- a judgment about encyclopedic significance --- rather than a verifiability requirement: almost all BLP1Es are easily referenced to reliable sources, in a way that should leave them untouched by BLP-PROD on its terms. The typical subject of a BLP1E is an otherwise unremarkable person experiencing their fifteen minutes of Warholian fame. To me, at least, referencing is straightforward and generally free from complicated nuance. Notability, by contrast, is all about context, which is why there are many separate guidelines and even more essays that discuss what makes for notability for different subjects. Notability calls for fairly complex judgments, and is impacted by our choice not to be a free ad host, a business directory, or a free web host. But the procedure for deleting entirely unreferenced biographical articles requires no such nuance, in my opinion. There should be no conflict with specific notability guidelines: sourcing is straightforward, notability complicated, and BLP policy trumps notability guidelines. - Smerdis of Tlön - killing the human spirit since 2003! 15:47, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  10. partial support - I dont agree with "The subject of a biography is the person, not the person's work." but without third party coverage about the person OR the IMPACT of their work all we have, for instance in the academic field, is a vague WP:SYN claim that because their work was cited a lot, they were important. Active Banana (talk) 14:18, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
  11. Support. SNGs should be kept to the bare minimum, and should only be allowed as additional, more strict criteria for those categories where basis following of the GNG would lead to the influx of a number of unwanted articles (e.g. through local coverage). Nearly every SNG is intended as a means to get a number of topics that don't have significant coverage included nonetheless because of a fanboyish need for completion, no matter if it is about minor fictional characters, cricket players, elementary schools, or anything else. Specifically for living people, this is a problem with sportspersons and musicians, and more importantly with some criminals and porn stars. Fram (talk) 10:46, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  12. WP:ATH is especially bad due to its extreme inclusiveness; I've seen plenty of athlete articles that are just prose-ified statistics from a database. PROF is also problematic as most academics are fairly non-public people. Mr.Z-man 23:40, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
  13. Endorse mostly. I think the GNG - significant coverage in independent reliable sources - should be a minimum, and SNGs should be allowed only to be more strict, not to weaken that criteria. However, I see no problem with an article on an academic, for instance, which focuses on his/her body of work and its impact on the field (provided this was covered in RS) and has little to no information on the academic's personal life. Karanacs (talk) 18:11, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
  14. Endorse. The nature of the SNGs means that there are very many one-line stubs out there that are never going to be more than that, because the sources simply don't exist. Frickeg (talk) 11:51, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

View by Hobit[edit]

It has been proposed above that the sticky PROD should be usable on any article without a reliable source. I think that much like the speedy criteria the criteria for the sticky prod should be extremely cut-and-dried. Otherwise we end up with people adding and removing the tag thinking they are in the right. Given that we have a notice board about what makes for a RS and that almost every question has an answer that uses the words "it depends" (generally on exactly what you are trying to use the source for), I don't think the definition of a RS is anywhere clear enough for this process. Let the sticky prod only be for those articles that are unsourced and let AfD handle the rest.

Users who endorse this summary:

  1. Hobit (talk) 03:35, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  2. DGG ( talk ) 06:25, 17 June 2010 (UTC) "reliable" is not a very simple term, and all that is necessary is something reliable enough to meet WP:V for at least some key point about the person. The rest can come later. Specifying it exactly will lead to a drift to "sufficient reliable sources to prove notability" -- but we know we can do not do that properly without a group discussion. The current wording is better. DGG ( talk ) 06:25, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  3. Is it absurd that I'm endorsing this alongside J04n's view? I empathize with both of your viewpoints... is there a way a compromise is possible? ThemFromSpace 19:20, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  4. I agree that reliable sources should not be required to remove a sticky prod as long as the sources provided will meet WP:V with respect to something that connotes notability for the person. Jogurney (talk) 19:25, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  5. Jclemens (talk) 02:11, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. --Cybercobra (talk) 08:06, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. --Cyclopiatalk 16:34, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. Hut 8.5 19:44, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. Yep - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 00:33, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  10. I agree with DGG. Stifle (talk) 09:40, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  11. Agreed that reliability is a sufficiently subjective criterion that we should keep to the current version. I note the discussion in the comments section and agree that some spaces contain poor quality information but a rigid definition of RS that excludes everything written by the subject of an article and their associates is too extreme.--Peter cohen (talk) 21:17, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
  12. Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 22:04, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
  13. Resolute 02:08, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  14. Subject to disallowing Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and Utube as per discussion below. My reasoning is that we need to focus on why we are stricter about BLPs, it isn't that we want a higher threshold for puffery and vanity than we have for other articles. It is because these are about living people and we to take extra precautions against attack pages. ϢereSpielChequers 00:30, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
  15. BLPPROD should be, like CSD, extremely clear-cut and impossible to dispute. I support keeping it restricted to articles that are entirely unsourced for that reason. There's no rush to delete these articles; any that have some sources, however unreliable, can always go through other deletion processes instead. Robofish (talk) 12:09, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
  16. Davewild (talk) 11:12, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  1. While I share the belief that WP:RS isn't a bright-line enough test to use with BLPPRODs, I note that WereSpielChequers's view (to my reading) doesn't actually suggest WP:RS as a test, instead, it suggests that "a source good enough to remove a BLPPROD" not include clearly user-generated content (e.g., myspace, facebook, self-promotional sites). This seems like a much brighter-line test, and a proposal not addressed by the flow of the argument in this view. --je deckertalk 20:14, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
    • J04n does call for a RS. WereSpielChequer's view could be acceptable to me, but only with great care. I'm fine, in general, with disallowing myspace and facebook, but again there can be, and is, debate about what is self-published. Is IMDB self-published? Is a blog? What about a NYT's blog? If the blog is by a third party? Or what about the back cover of a book? Is that author's bio in the back of the book enough to ward off a sticky prod? Perhaps a blacklist (no myspace, facebook for example) would work, but I'd want a really bright line. Otherwise it should go to AfD. Hobit (talk) 23:41, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
      • Thanks, I really appreciate your elaboration. And I'm very much agree with and respect the desire for a bright-line test, one way or another. --je deckertalk 15:46, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
        • I'm happy to continue with the idea that to remove a validly applied BLPprod you need to add a reliable source, and I don't think anyone has challenged that part of the process. The sourcing issue in contention is the test for whether a BLPprod can be applied to an article. I would like to keep the rule very clear, but to tighten it to specifically exclude four websites composed of selfpublished data: Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and Utube. I think that would be simple and clear enough to be workable, but would also be a significant tightening of the process. Would that be a sufficiently brightline for you Hobit? ϢereSpielChequers 07:05, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
          • Very much so. Hobit (talk) 17:12, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

View by DGG[edit]

I have by now reviewed several hundred BLP prods, usually a day or two before they would expire. About 3/4 of them prove to have sources that I can find, even in fields I am not familiar with. Many of them have sources that can be found quite easily and might well show notability. Had the original prodder looked, the article would have been immediately improved. Of the ones in fields I am familiar that do not have sources with could probably be speedied, or deleted easily enough for other reasons. Of the relatively small number remaining, most are in language areas i cannot adequately work with, and the failure to find sources is a matter of cultural bias. If anything, I consider the bLP PROD procedure worthless and harmful , because people use it instead of considering whether the article should be speedied, and because people use it and neglect the work that is needed, which is looking for sources.

After the first week or two, I no longer bothered looking for sources when I thought the career as depicted would surely not be notable. I am sure I was wrong some of the time, and savable articles got deleted, but I no longer can devote more than an hour or so a day to it. For that first week I felt I was personally trying to do the work that dozens of people who were mindlessly tagging ought instead to be doing--and this is clearly not sustainable. When I see an expired prod & I cannot find sources and the person seems clearly non-notable, I delete them, giving both reasons. I have yet to find one , except for language problems, where the person seems likely to be notable and there are no sources. (I am not opposed to deleting articles--I've personally removed about 10,000, about ten times more than I've been able to rescue. That makes me in the top 10% of administrators in deleting articles.)

I have not been working much on the backlog. From what I see, the numbers are similar--either they are sourceable, or removable on other grounds. I'm more concerned about some of the really non-notable but sourceable ones that are being passed over.

I totally disagree with some of the views above . One is that the source has to be about the person, not the career. What makes a person notable 'is the career, not the details of their life that are no more notable in themselves than anybody else's. The one I disagree with next is the deprecation of the special notability guidelines. What I would deprecate is the GNG--it's a last resort for when we can do nothing more accurate--with the growth in the internet, and G News and G Books in particular, we can perfectly well find such sources for a great many people who are in no way notable, and we can only keep them out by carefully tricky use of various provisions of oneevent and WP:NOT. As for IMdB, it is certainly not a RS for notability, as it tries to cover everyone--but it is fairly reliable for at least the basic professional career, and usually a good preliminary guide for whether the person will or will not in the end meet the standards for WP:ACTOR.

I recommend the following:

  1. WP:BEFORE be absolutely mandatory for a BLP PROD, or for any other form of deletion where it would be relevant.
  2. notifying the author of the article be absolutely mandatory for this and all forms of deletion
  3. we find some way to actually help the authors and show them how to look for sources. If everyone who tagged a article for deletion had to spend 5 minutes writing a personal note to the author it might help. (I try to do that, but there are just too many; there would not be too many if others helped more)
  4. we develop subject specific notability guidelines for as many subject fields as possible, and use them. They work fine in preventing arguments. Even the guidelines that one or two people keep from being formally adopted are in practice used quite decisively and uncontroversially at AfD.

Users who endorse this summary:

  1. DGG ( talk ) 07:03, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  2. You've got my backing on this. There is already too much mindless tagging. The tagger, essentially the vandal, should be responsible to do some work first before leaving their mark. My experiences over thousands of BLPs match DGG. Most are easily sourced in less time than to follow these full procedures. More BLPs will get sourced and WP will be the better for it.Trackinfo (talk) 09:17, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
    I was asked to revisit my calling taggers as vandals. OK lets analyze. I'll use gang terminology, a gang being a group of people forcibly exhorting their will over a territory. To them, graffiti is called a "tag" and placing one is considered a sign of loyalty to the gang and a marking of their territory. The owner of the property just considers it a defacement, vandalism. It makes it look bad. Lets translate that to a Wikipedia sense. Here is an article an author thought was a serious enough subject to spend their time writing about. While we release rights to the world to read this information, there is a proprietary sense of creation. And along comes someone else, a member or aspirant to the gang that rules wikipedia content--the deletionists. As I have repeated complained, they use these procedural steps in order to effect their will over what the world is allowed to learn from Wikipedia, what they consider their territory, censoring and removing the content they dislike. As part of those procedures, in order to show loyalty to the cause of removing this objectionable content, individuals (who may not even be a part of the organized body as such) leave a tag. To the originator of the article in question, they are defacing his work, his property. It makes it look bad. It might not be as bad as placing incorrect, useless or defamatory material into an article, or blanking--I've got my watchlist, I see what people do--but it still is placing negative, objectionable (at least to the person who wrote the article) material in an article. Furthermore, without the BEFORE we are talking about here, its so easy to tag and run, like a gang tagger, its far less a tool to deliver a (I would hope) positive message, than it is just to say: somebody else rules this territory.Trackinfo (talk) 18:27, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
    Slightly late reply to this, but I have to object to the description of deletionists as 'the gang that rules wikipedia content'. Currently, Category:Deletionist Wikipedians contains 261 users, while Category:Inclusionist Wikipedians contains 1126. Self-identified inclusionists vastly outnumber self-identified deletionists - there are over 4 times as many. Now, I don't think it's particularly helpful to divide all users into those two factions, and I don't believe it's meaningful to say either of them 'rules wikipedia' - but if you had to say which group was 'stronger', it's beyond a doubt that it would be the inclusionists. Robofish (talk) 12:39, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
  3. Endorse 1 and 2, not sure about 3 and 4. Hobit (talk) 14:15, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  4. Agree with all four recommendations, particularly #3. I disagree with the conclusion that the BLP Prod is "worthless and harmful", but the four recommendations are outstanding. Templating should be reserved for vandals and a few pro forma notifications. If you actually want the person to do something positive, don't leave them a template, leave them a message. I see this constantly where templating someone just angers them and makes them lash out, rather than diffusing the problem.— Preceding unsigned comment added by B (talkcontribs) diff
  5. Endorse 2 and 3 for sure. I could be tempted to support #4, but only if the SNGs stated explicitly that WP:V must be met; otherwise they would open the door for a lot of unverifiable biographical information being included, which I can't accept. #1 is a strange one: it sounds great in principle, but would be difficult to enforce as it's often hard to tell whether someone has followed WP:BEFORE or not, such as in cases where sources are available but hard to find. Alzarian16 (talk) 18:25, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. Endorse all but 4. Similar to Gigs' view, I think SNGs are mostly misused. OrangeDog (τε) 18:30, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. Endorse points 2 and 3. A simple way to go about point 3 would be to create a newbie-friendly "sourcing for dummies" page in the Wikipedia space that we can link to from our standard deletion templates and pages. Pretty strongly oppose point 4. Neutral on 1 per my endorsement on werespielchequers' observations. ThemFromSpace 19:25, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. Absolutely agree with point 2. Notification is crucial to the process. Perhaps a bot should be tasked to make the notification if the taggers fails, and if a tagger repeatedly fails to notify, there should be sanctions on their behavior. Disagree strongly with point 4. Inventing complex rules for notability for every subject field is largely a failure, and divisive. Wikipedia cannot become a library catalog of all that is. Not only is this more information than is currently on the Internet, the point of Wikipedia is to be a clean alternative from the chaff thrown up by a typical search engine. Abductive (reasoning) 21:47, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. This is a more ideal world, a more egalitarian, information-focused world that our current Wikipedia cannot sustain, as evidenced by the fact that this entire process was spawned at all. The fact that it will never be adopted doesn't make it any less right. Jclemens (talk) 02:16, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  10. Moral support for points 1 and the spirit of point 3 (point 1 is absolutely unenforceable). Endorse point 2 to some extent, although mandatory notification would turn into wikilawyering, and we're left with wikidrama and a still-unreferenced BLP which needs to be fixed.  --Joshua Scott (LiberalFascist) 03:59, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  11. I think some effort by taggers needs to be done in attempting to find sources. Often it is trivial to find sources for BLPPRODed articles, but as DGG says the time taken to plough through all of them is daunting. Taggers should not just mechanically tag any new BLP that lacks sources, making it "someone else's problem" to find sources. Fences&Windows 14:04, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  12. I disagree with the notion that every subject-specific notability guideline necessarily includes a relaxation of the general guideline. Some notability guidelines exist specifically to set clearer criteria and specific requirements in crowded fields (e.g. WP:PORNBIO, WP:CORP). Apart from that, I agree generally with the tenor of these suggestions. WP:BLP needs to be read in conjunction with WP:AGF. - Smerdis of Tlön - killing the human spirit since 2003! 16:23, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  13. Support completely point 1, 2, 3 -not only for BLP PROD but for all prods. WP:BEFORE can an should be made mandatory simply by, say, forcing the user to include by hand examples of relevant search engine search results (at least Gnews, Gbooks, Gscholar) failing. About point 4, I am unsure: GNG is the golden standard and things should stay this way, except for more inclusive guidelines when reasonable. In general, in my opinion, PROD is always a disgraceful process -if something is obviously uncontroversial, it is a CSD, if not, it should be AFD to give the community a chance. --Cyclopiatalk 16:32, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  14. Agree with 1, I've been able to save several of these articles with very little effort, and I've found one case where the tagger clearly didn't bother to even read the article.[2] Don't agree with 4, a general notability guideline that anyone can read in ten seconds and understand is far better than a byzantine array of guidelines tailored to specific topics. I agree that notifying the creator should be encouraged, but I don't think making it mandatory is a good idea. While creating help pages or other material to help authors search for references is a good idea forcing people to write notes to the creator is taking it a bit too far. Hut 8.5 19:40, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
    The problem with BLPs involves sourcing: what constitutes a source reliable enough for Wikipedia to rely on for facts we add to articles? The issue with notability guidelines tends to be significance: what constitutes an achievement remarkable enough to be preserved in an encyclopedia? I can see multiple standards of significance for different topics, and think there probably should be more as well. I would agree that clarity about significance helps avoid friction, gives us clear standards to point to when we speak of what's significant enough to support an article, and helps editors stop wasting their effort on insignificant topics. I agree that greater specificity is needed. But that's an entirely different issue from BLPs and sourcing. - Smerdis of Tlön - killing the human spirit since 2003! 04:21, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
  15. Precisely per Smerdis, who expresses my exact view of this.—S Marshall T/C 10:54, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
  16. Generally agree. Taggers are self selected, and the ones who want to follow before aren't going to be the ones who want to tag a bunch of articles. Such is life. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 00:40, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  17. All four points. The sensitivity of BLP is not an excuse for laziness. And specific guidelines are only sensible. One field's notability is not another's. If I recall a recent AfD correctly, a head animator who worked on multiple notable programs came close to failing WP:N, but would pass WP:ENT easily if she was an actor. Is speaking so much more notable than showing? etc. - BalthCat (talk) 01:13, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  18. In general (although "absolutely" is redundant where it is used). Collect (talk) 14:32, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  19. Yep. At some point someone needs to make an effort to identify potential sources and sooner is better. A friendly explanation to the author of an article is also useful in retaining potentially good editors rather than Biting them.--Peter cohen (talk) 21:22, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
  20. Endorse on 2, 3 and 4. I'm reluctant to make BEFORE mandatory, but I think it should be strongly encouraged. Robofish (talk) 12:11, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
  21. Endorse points 1, 2 and 3 without question (although enforcability may be an issue). Also partial endorse point 4: although many of these need considerable revision to be practical and/or useful, the concept is a good one. Frickeg (talk) 11:55, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

View by Scott MacDonald[edit]

Sticky prod is a very small start. If people want article about living people kept, then the article must not only be capable of verification and neutrality in theory but there needs to be a probability that the article is and will remain of a minimum standard of accuracy. That ought to be the principle, because if we decide to have an article we owe the subject a minimum duty of care. Those trying to put the onus back on the nominator with WP:BEFORE doom subjects to unmaintainable articles - if no one want to source it, then no one will maintain it.

However, the reality is that we simply have far too many low-level BLPs to do this. Eventualism and inclusivism and simply discredited for such articles. The only responsible thing to do would be to raise the notability bar for BLPs by a mile and a half. But like that's going to happen?--Scott Mac 23:30, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

  1. --Scott Mac 23:30, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  2. Alas, you are probably right that it isn't likely to happen. Even with the BLP changes that sounded so great, like the sticky prod, became absolutely worthless as people would just throw up an IMDB link or the like and remove the prod, while at the same time we have people getting hammered and AfDs deleted for making a single snide remark about a living person. Seems something is broken somewhere... -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 23:47, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  3. J04n(talk page) 01:20, 18 June 2010 (UTC) For a project the size and breadth of Wikipedia to maintain itself it needs many different folks doing many different things. We need folks that point out (tag) articles that aren't up to snuff and we need folks that are willing to bring them up to snuff. For the most part I consider myself in the second category but without folks in the former I would not have added sources to thousands of articles in the past six months, nor would I have merged dozens into more reasonable subjects or initiated the process for others to be deleted. While we have a system in place so that folks who want to save (dare I say rescue) articles have a reasonable amount of time to do so (i.e. not speedied) I have absolutely no problem with doing away with WP:BEFORE.
  4. Hits the nail on the head. The WordsmithCommunicate 02:06, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  5. Strongly agree with raising the standard of notability for BLPs, which I think could be accomplished if done in the right way. Not sure if having too few editors for the BLPs is really an issue though - I believe we could protect them through technical measures such as Pending Changes. I'd support applying pending changes to every BLP.  --Joshua Scott (LiberalFascist) 03:47, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. --je deckertalk 20:23, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. VernoWhitney (talk) 20:34, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. Wikipedia is a volunteer project and people do the type of work that interests them. Some people do the very necessary job of reviewing new pages and new edits and tagging them as needed. These people are sorting out the problem contributions from the ones that are sound. If an BLP article does not have references then their work is to tag it for deletion and nothing more. For us to place more demands on these people than the person creating the content is extremely backward and will drive people away from doing the needed reviews of edits. FloNight♥♥♥♥ 09:58, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. support Active Banana (talk) 00:46, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
  10. This will never happen (raising the notability bar), but is obviously the right thing to do. Kevin (talk) 01:40, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
  11. What Kevin said. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:41, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  12. ---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 05:26, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  13. Stifle (talk) 09:42, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  14. NW (Talk) 07:31, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  15. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 07:45, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  16. Fram (talk) 08:13, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  17. As I said below,BEFORE is not part of the answer, or the solution. It is part of the problem. SirFozzie (talk) 16:30, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
    Question for SirFozzie on the talk page.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 21:46, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  18. Putting the onus on the nominator is how we ended up with tens of thousands of unsourced and otherwise poor quality BLPs in the first place. Mr.Z-man 23:50, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
  19. I'm firmly in the camp that an unreferenced BLP is not, by itself, harmful; lack of references does not equal harmful content, and lots of references does not indicate an absence of harmful content. However, I also strongly believe that articles in general need references, and much higher quality ones than are often used. I would wholeheartedly support raising the bar for inclusion of biographies of living people (and even those recently deceased) in the hopes that we could better focus efforts on improving the biographies that we do accept. Karanacs (talk) 18:05, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
  20. Agree per Flonight. -- Bfigura (talk) 22:53, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
    • Moved extended discussion RE Scott McDonald's comment to Talk Page

View by Balloonman[edit]

"Absolutely mandatory" rules and policies create more problems than they solve. The three strikes and you're out laws tried in various states had negative consequences that ended up biting the states that implemented them. They ended up incarcertating people whose crimes didn't really warrant the penalty. When companies implement overly strict controls, people are fired or companies suffer because they can't keep employees. When schools enact zero tolerance policies, kids get suspended or kicked out for minor infractions. When absolutely mandatory rules are implemented both those who should be punished and those who make simple mistakes suffer. They create nightmares. While we might like people to notify authors and to look for sources BEFORE prodding, making any requirement "absolutely mandatory" is bound to have unforseen and negative consequences.

  1. ---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 02:08, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  2. completely agree -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:10, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  3. This is accurate.  --Joshua Scott (LiberalFascist) 03:49, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  4. I would like to know the editing time wasted & the level of wikistalking needed to collect the evidences that one editor failed at WP:BEFORE. Strongly encourage editors to check for sources certainly making "Absolutely mandatory" never. --KrebMarkt 06:21, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
    Seriously, the point is if the article is not sourced and tagged it means the tagger didn't look. Out of well over a thousand random unreferenced BLPs that I have now personally looked at, almost every one has checked out on a simple google search. There are many subjects I did not feel qualified to accept the quality of the sources (foreign diplomats or academics, and I do feel that IMDB corroboration should qualify--OK I'm a radical), but I got hits. For a few, google solved spelling errors. Only one article I have tried to check out, failed. I actually PRODed that one and it got deleted at AfD. So that would make <.1% would have even qualified for a sticky tag under WP:BEFORE, the articles would have had a source added, the unreferenced BLP tag could be removed if it had been placed there previously and everybody would be happy, right. Oh, except the people who don't really care about content, only the brownie points for deleting articles. They would be most unhappy.Trackinfo (talk) 05:57, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
  5. Have to agree, sadly. It would be great if "absolutely mandatory" rules could be reasonably enforced and give good results... but experience says they can't. Alzarian16 (talk) 13:23, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. Hear, hear! VernoWhitney (talk) 13:26, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. Support - Active Banana (talk) 01:17, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. Stifle (talk) 09:42, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. Support. The only thing mandatory should be that people creating articles should add reliable sources to them. Notifying creators, doing WP:BEFORE, ... are all methods of making it harder and more timeconsuming to nominate an article for any kind of deletion. As long as articles are easy to create, they should be easy to delete as well. Mandatory notifying of an article creator is promoting WP:OWN in a bad way. Making BEFORE mandatory is a backhanded attempt to disrupt the results of the long BLP RfCs, where a very easy to add BLP-PROD was the compromise between the supporters of the status-quo and the supporters of speedy deletion of unsourced BLPs. BLPprod has resulted in the decrease of unsourced BLPs from about 1,000 to about 500 a month (with the other 500 being either deleted or sourced). No convincing reason has been provided to change the way it works. Fram (talk) 10:27, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
    • are all methods of making it harder and more timeconsuming to nominate an article for any kind of deletion. : Yes. Not harder for being hard's sake, harder for being a sensible and responsible decision. Deleting contributions shouldn't be taken lightly.
    • As long as articles are easy to create, they should be easy to delete as well. : As long as children are easy to create, they should be easy to kill as well?
    • Mandatory notifying of an article creator is promoting WP:OWN in a bad way. : It has OWN issues, but better than not notifying anyone. Notifying a Wikiproject or more editors than only the creator could be very good ideas.
    • No convincing reason has been provided to change the way it works. : Making sure that we don't throw aways babies with bathwater, simply. --Cyclopiatalk 16:23, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
    Are children easily unkilled or re-created? Would you put children in an environment where everyone is encouraged to change them, and where on the other hand they may stay around unwatched for years? Please don't use ridiculous similes, they don't help the debate one bit. Fram (talk) 13:24, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
    I'd pass on the same advice to Fram. Articles, once deleted, are not unkilled easily. Re-creating such an article already has several nails in the coffin before, or even if, the AfD debate starts.Trackinfo (talk) 17:39, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
    The only time it is difficult to recreate a deleted article is if it was killed via an AfD. If it was killed via CSD/Prod, it is very easy to recreate. Most admins will do so without a second thought if somebody is going to work on it--it might be userfied, but recreating deleted articles is easy. Hell, even recreated deleted articles via AFD is not impossible if the new article is substantively different.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 17:55, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  10. Having "absolutely mandatory" requirements seem to go against the 5th pillar about WP not having hard and fast rules; even the most glaring antithesis of that pillar, the three-revert rule, is not worded that strongly and for good reasons. –MuZemike 15:41, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
  11. Either an article could be undeleted for a reason that has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the article, making a giant loophole, or its not actually a mandatory thing. Mr.Z-man 23:55, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Discussion on this moved to the talk page.

View by Collect[edit]

The interim measures appear to be working well. They ain't broke. Next RfC should be on raising standards for "allegations" mentioned in BLPs, especially where the allegations are of a salacious nature, or might be damaging to the subject of a BLP or any other living person. Collect (talk) 14:36, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

You mean like the existing standards at WP:GRAPEVINE? VernoWhitney (talk) 17:51, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
It seems to me too that WP:GRAPEVINE already is sufficiently thorough. Which improvements do you suggest? --Cyclopiatalk 17:58, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
The WP:GRAPEVINE policy is good, our standard of applying it less so. I'm not sure we need an RFC, perhaps more of an improvement drive. I'm working on a way to identify articles with controversial statements, which I think that has promise as a way to improve our detection rate of unsourced pejorative allegations about living people. I really don't think we need policy changes to do this, and from the responses I've had so far I don't think that any editors will be upset by what I'm up to. As for the main comment, I think its working, I agree it isn't broke, but I don't agree sticky prods are working well. ϢereSpielChequers 18:32, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
The current policy is insufficient to prevent defamation as those who wish to insert salacious allegations have long since found out. In all too many cases, sources are asserted to be "reliable" when their main content is rumours and innuendoes, and the policy reasonaly ought to be substantially strengthened - as a matter of more importance than the side issue of seeking out trivial BLPs which were mainly found to be simply sourceable in the first place <g>. Frankly, if IAR had not been invoked, this all would have been settled in just as short a time and with one tenth the Drama, IMHO. Collect (talk) 18:40, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
OK that would make for an interesting RFC. But I still think we could do an awful lot simply by trawling for controversial statements and checking that they were reliably sourced and not given undue weight. ϢereSpielChequers 18:48, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
Since I think where this is going... WP:WELLKNOWN (part of BLP policy) covers also (reasonably) sourced allegations. Of course such allegations must categorically not be presented as fact, but notable and sourced rumours can be reported as such. That is, if there is a persistent urban legend about X, and this urban legend is reliably sourced in multiple places as such, it should be reported something on the lines of "X has been the subject of this urban legend [refs]". --Cyclopiatalk 21:03, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:BLP examples for discussion, which I wrote for a seminar to be used at meet-ups, but gives examples of situations that arise from time to time, abstracted from actual names that might color the discussion. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:02, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Posit also a case where not only are no charges brought against the entertainer (example 1), but the alleger is charged with extortion in a similar case (resulting in the alleger even having to drop any civil suit) -- does the entire affair belong in the entertainer's bio? See also User:Collect/BLP to see how some other editors have regarded this issue. Collect (talk) 01:50, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd say a mention, and no more, belongs there. If the affair has it's own article then a link to that article is obviously appropriate. Hobit (talk) 08:29, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

View by The-Pope[edit]

I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of WP:BEFORE or WP:BLPPROD or similar techniques, only to state that I think that we're doing pretty good. As I've stated on the talk page, we've referenced, deleted, retagged or similar over half of the >50000 UBLPs that existed in January. Yes we've found a heap more since then, so the headline figure isn't quite 50%, but its a fantastic effort by all involved. On top of the referencing, recently a lot of us have been busy allocating articles to WikiProjects, and we now have over 600 lists being updated daily with project specific lists of UBLPs. I have, since the very first BPLRFC, urged that the WikiProjects be used to solve the problem as any list more than a few hundred items long is too long for most people to deal with. Split it up into smaller chunks, preferably by topic, not by tagging date, and you might create some lists that people find relevant enough to them that they'll happily reference them.

But this is not so much about what we've done, but where to from here. In my mind it comes down to one decision, and it's not one for us to make.

Is this issue too important to allow the status quo of allowing everyday normal editors, working as fast as volunteers can, to do our best, which is probably going to be the backlog removed by sometime next year, or is it something that is of higher priority? If it is too important to let the normal WP:NODEADLINE approach work, then the FOUNDATION or WikiMedia or some other higher level group MUST get involved and assist in one or more of the following areas:

  1. prevent new UBLPs from being created. BLPProd is good, but why allow new editors to create articles before they edit others? Why can't the article creation software be smart enough to detect the lack of references? Why not have a "flagged revisions for new articles by new editors" that doesn't allow them to "go live" until they are checked for appropriateness, including reliable sources?
  2. re-establish Wolterbot and Article Alert bot to cover ALL of the BLP related cleanup categories, not just unreferenced ones and make them update daily, not every few months like the Wolterbot Cleanup lists used to do.
  3. Employ a few people to do nothing but reference UBLPs, or allocate articles to projects, for a month or two... if it's that important and may prevent them getting sued in the future, why not be proactive?

If those in charge don't want to help, then I'm sorry, you'll get the encyclopedia that we, the free employees/volunteers, can manage to make. If you want something better, then you have to contribute too.The-Pope (talk) 07:11, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

  1. Endorse fully especially changing the article creation process for new authors.
  1. DE Wikipedia has an article creation process that requires editors to state their source, we should implement that here.
  2. I think Wolterbot only runs on the rare occasion when we do a full backup, and only for projects who have opted in, but the IT issues are resolvable and as we've found re the cleanup lists of unreferenced BLP by project, the community seems happy to work on an opt out basis, as scarcely any projects have opted out of getting lists of uBLPs (of course some are ignoring the lists - but this is a volunteer project).
  3. We've had paid translators kickstarting Wikipedias in certain languages, so the principle has been established that the foundation or others can fund paid editing when neither the payer or payee has a COI re the articles. I don't think that this is something that the foundation should spend money on, not least because referencing uBLPs is not where I think the highest priority should go for improving our BLP articles. But if they decided they needed to raise quality faster than a purely volunteer community can then $100,000 a year would get a lot of educated editors in Bangladesh, Nairobi or Soweto, though it would need to be on the basis of "we no longer accept new unreferenced articles, and we are employing a group of people to fix some of the old ones". Otherwise we'd have editors writing new articles on the assumption that somebody would be employed to fix them. ϢereSpielChequers 12:16, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.